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Uncover the history of one of the best preserved medieval Cistercian abbeys in Britain. With its beautiful and iconic ruins, award-winning Park and interactive visitor centre Kirkstall Abbey is a place that visitors of all ages can enjoy. The ruins are a unique example of early Christian architecture. From the majesty of the church to the peace of the cloisters enjoy exploring this iconic Leeds landmark. The story of the abbey and its community is explored in the Visitor Centre. Founded over 800 years ago in 1152 discover more about what life was like for the Cistercian monks who lived here for nearly 400 years. Enjoy the abbey's parkland setting next to the River Aire. Take a walk along the river or enjoy a picnic in our spacious grounds. There is also a small playground near to the car park for the little ones to enjoy. The ruins of the abbey provide a breath-taking background to your wedding photography, blessings, vow renewals and baby naming ceremonies.